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Fire and Ice

George W. Hart

Fire and Ice is a 24" diameter hollow orb, assembled from sixty identical pieces of red oak (cut on a computer-controlled router) and ten interwoven loops of brass.  It is one of a series of rather different forms I am constructing, which all share chiral icosahedral symmetry. As in all my work, I am seeking to create engaging forms which carry a geometric aesthetic, but which can be as easily appreciated by viewers without any special fondness for math or geometry. It may not be obvious from this image that the brass loops weave together to form a large hollow sphere at the center of the sculpture.
People often ask me how I get my ideas and how I work. I can't explain where the ideas come from---I just visualize forms like this. Usually I know exactly what material I want to use to express the form. In this case I wanted the look of oak and brass because I wanted to import something of the character of old scientific instruments.  How I then work out the details of getting the materials into the form is different in each case.  Often I make paper models.  Above is the paper model I made for the wooden part of this sculpture.  I then wove ribbon though it to work out the details of how I would assemble it..

copyright 1999, George W. Hart